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Proceedings Paper

Analysis and simulation of aperture-sizing strategies with partial adaptive optics
Author(s): Robert K. Tyson
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Paper Abstract

The central core intensity of a stellar image observed by a ground-based telescope can be maximized by a judicious balancing of the adaptive optics system and the size of the telescope entrance aperture. For a given aperture, increasing the number of degrees of adaptive optics turbulence compensation will maximize the brightness of the central core. However, for an observatory using an adaptive optics system with a fixed number of degrees-of-freedom, the largest aperture available will not necessarily result in a maximized image central core. The negative effects of atmospheric turbulence, roughly proportional to (formula available in paper) cannot always be compensated by the increased light gathering ability of a larger aperture (proportional to D2). It is shown and verified through simulation that the optimum aperture diameter is a function of Np ro where N is the number of adaptive optics degrees of freedom and ro is the seeing cell size. The simulations show that the exponent p is related to the control algorithm or, more precisely, the figure-of-merit used to drive the deformable mirror actuators. Optimizing the useful aperture of the telescope/adaptive optics system is a strategy that can make use of the variation in site seeing conditions and benefit the astronomer by increasing the available number of observable science objects or reducing the observing time.

Paper Details

Date Published: 31 May 1994
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 2201, Adaptive Optics in Astronomy, (31 May 1994); doi: 10.1117/12.176112
Show Author Affiliations
Robert K. Tyson, W.J. Schafer Associates, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2201:
Adaptive Optics in Astronomy
Mark A. Ealey; Fritz Merkle, Editor(s)

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